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CSE Team Wins First Place at Energy City Hackathon

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YEREVAN, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is pleased to announce the AUA Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE) faculty and student team’s victory at the Energy City Hackathon. The team comprised five members: Assistant Professor Dr. Habet Madoyan, chair of the Bachelor of Science in Data Science (BSDS) program; Urban Data Scientist and CSE Adjunct Lecturer Dr. Gevorg Yeghikyan; and AUA students Ani Poghosyan (MSCIS ‘22), Arman Manjian (BSES ‘24), and Garik Hovhannisyan (BSDS ‘23). Dr. Yeghikyan’s tremendous experience in urban data science was instrumental in generating the idea for discussion during the hackathon.

The project idea that the team presented at the Energy City Hackathon is to collect, consolidate and use data generated in Yerevan by many local companies for solving various problems. Through the use of the consolidated data the team put forth novel solutions for green economic development in transportation, energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and other unprecedented uses of information technologies.

“We suggested a joint venture based on a public-private partnership that would help solve different problems in city management and urban analytics. Today, many local companies are generating data as byproducts of their operation, which can be used to model city infrastructures and help the municipality reach data-driven decisions. Telecom companies and the gg online taxi ordering system are just two examples of companies that generate spatial data,” remarked Manjian.

The team suggested establishing a consortium between data owners and the municipality to gain data insight and generate innovative solutions. During the hackathon, they showcased three simple solutions using data from gg: urban sensing using dynamic sensors, deriving optimal bicycle routes, and modeling dynamic road pricing. The first solution made use of urban sensing through dynamic sensors located on a number of cars. These sensors monitor the percentage of air pollution, measure the proportion of noise, and detect crowded roads. The second proposal was the construction of infrastructure for micro mobility for urban transportation. The third suggestion related to road pricing solutions for solving problems of transportation and traffic congestion in the city. According to urban data science, the solution is to convert urban roads into toll roads.

Dr. Madoyan shared the team’s future steps: “We plan to have meetings with multiple stakeholders and test our idea further. Also, we are expecting to receive Yerevan City Council’s proposal to begin consultations with the companies that own the data that will help us implement the project.”

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.

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